Ukrainian soldier killed, another wounded in Donbas
A Ukrainian soldier was killed, another wounded on Saturday evening as a result of shelling in the Donbas, the press center of the Joint Forces operation headquarters said in a statement on Sunday.
“Over the past day, April 10, the armed formations of the Russian Federation violated the ceasefire in the Joint Forces Operation area in eastern Ukraine nine times. One soldier was killed and another wounded in the attacks,” the statement said.
“In particular, in the area of responsibility of the operational and tactical group “East”, the Russian occupation forces fired at our positions near the village of Pyshchevyk with 82 mm mortars, anti-tank and hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers prohibited by the Minsk agreements. In the suburbs of the villages of Pisky and Shirokine, the enemy opened fire with small arms, and near Avdiivka and Kamyanka - with grenade launchers of various systems,” the statement added.
From the beginning of March 2014, demonstrations by pro-Russian and anti-government groups took place in the Donbas, as part of the aftermath of the February 2014 Ukrainian revolution and the Euromaidan movement.
These demonstrations, which followed the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and which were part of a wider group of concurrent pro-Russian protests across southern and eastern Ukraine, escalated in April 2014 into a war between the separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR respectively), and the Ukrainian government.
Amidst the ongoing war, the separatist republics held referendums on the status of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on 11 May 2014. In the referendums, viewed as illegal by Ukraine and undemocratic by the international community, about 90% voted for the independence of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic.
Fighting continued through 2014, and into 2015, despite several attempts at implementing a ceasefire. Ukraine said the Russian Federation provided both material and military support to the separatists, though Russia denied this. The separatists were largely led by Russian citizens until August 2014.
On January 11, 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers in Ukraine approved a plan for the reintegration of the region and population of Donbas. The plan would give Russia partial control of the electorate and has been described by Zerkalo Nedeli as “implanting a cancerous cell into Ukraine’s body.” (ILKHA)